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Apr 18, 2002 07:58 PM

Best Subs

  • b

I have read the messages ,and no one has metioned the best Sub sandwitches bar non is Bari's Food on Grand ave about 1100west. It is an old time Italian Food market and you need to go way in the back and ask for the subs . I prefer the Italian sub, HOT peppers a full 12" for 5 bucks . If you really want to chow get a container of homade italian beef , take that home heat it up and put the hot beef on the cold italian sub ......YEOW, I own a bar in the city and this is the treat I get for my staff for late night chowing after we close. ask for Ralph he makes the best sandwitches

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  1. For another treat go one door west and buy a loaf of bread

    1. I certainly agree Bari Foods makes a good sub (and included them in my list of favorite sandwiches; link below). In fact I like Bari so much I mentioned them again here less than 6 weeks ago. Did you ever try the nearby Mario & Pat’s before it closed several years ago? The store is still vacant and the sign still hangs. Good as Bari is, I preferred Mario & Pat’s.


      1. j

        From a former Chicagoan now living in New York:
        I remember the best subs were at Fontano's on Polk street right down the block from where I used to go to elementary school. All the kids at Jackson knew that Fontano's was the best!

        6 Replies
        1. re: JessicaKlonsky

          There's a Fontano's on Jackson between State and Wabash. Do you think it's connected to the one that used to be on Polk? It's a nice, family-run place, jammed at lunchtime, and I love their 6" meatball sub with provolone and sweet peppers (generally I prefer hot peppers, but for some reason they overwhelm this sub, in my opinion.) SusanB

          1. re: susanb

            The Fontano's on Jackson is run by the same family that STILL runs the Fontano's on Polk.

            1. re: FrankT

              Isn't there a sub place on Lake (approximately on the side of the Chicago theater) that had the Fontano's name for a while and then changed to something else? (Food stayed identical, as far as I could tell.) I used to get subs there while working downtown and they were always pretty good and authentic-seeming. I think that might be responsible for some confusion as to whether all Fontano's are related.

              1. re: MIke G

                I've been eating Fontano's subs (original Polk Street location) for over 25 years now- NEVER had a bad one or anything less than excellent. This place is a classic family run, old Italian neighborhood place. Some of the other locations are run by their kids, I've never tried them so can't vouch for authenticity or quality. A ham/salami/provolone with mayonaise and hot peppers is good for the soul- gots to have one now!
                BTW, the frozen pasta and sauces in the freezer are pretty good, also.

                1. re: Sandy C.

                  Yeah, hands down Fontano's has the best subs in Chicago & the suburbs. I've been going there since 1981. The "chain" places have plastic tasting Italian lunchmeat, overly portion controlled. Fontano's has REAL Italian lunchmeat piled high with whatever traditional extras you would like. These are not funky hybrid sndwiches, they're real Italian subs. And if you haven't had one, you have to try the Meatball sandwich ( add some provolone, you won't be sorry ). Another thing you don't get at other shops is the ambiance....When I go there, I feel like I'm in someone's kitchen.......

          2. re: JessicaKlonsky

            I second that mention of Fontano's (the original one on Polk). That place got me through my undergrad degree many, many years ago. Somewhere in the U of I's files, if not already trashed awhile back, is a whole big pile of composition/counterpoint exercises with giardiniera pepper stains on 'em! *Sentimental sigh*

          3. Dig deep. Bari's been mentioned several times.

            I love Bari, but I wouldn't know if its the best. We've had lotsa people making the same claim about lotsa places.

            Have a look at the thread I've linked, below.

            Erik M.


            1. I'm in Andersonville and would love to find a place nearby that makes an acceptable traditional Italian sub. Rocco's, on Lincoln just north of Lawrence, used to provide such a beast, but my visit there this past weekend revealed that they were closed for business. There's a Costello in Lincoln Square and Cap'n Nemo's on Ashland just north of Belmont (across from Ambassador Cafe); both are pretty good in their own fashion but neither will make you a good old fashioned Italian sub with mortadella, provolone, oil and vinegar, etc.

              I'm not necessarily looking for greatness, I would welcome even an OK option or two.

              It's been a tough year for sandwiches in general on the far north side, as the aforementioned Rocco's, the decent Big Lill's and of course the fabulous Mimi's have all closed their doors in recent months.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Harry V.

                Actually, if you order one at Costello's and then alter the ingredients slightly, don't you wind up with a pretty good traditional Italian sub?

                Mike, who was going to mention Rocco's closing sooner or later